3-girl Russian punk band pleads not guilty to hooliganism


An all-girl, Russian punk rock band, Pussy Riot, pleaded not guilty on Monday, July 30, to charges of hooliganism after performing a song that criticized President Vladimir Putin. “Mother Mary please drive Putin away,” the band screamed in February inside Christ Savior Cathedral, one of Moscow’s most sacred cathedrals. Calling it a punk prayer, the members of the feminist protest band were arrested soon after and have been in custody ever since. Hooliganism carries with it a potential 7-year sentence and Amnesty International on Monday said the singers must be released immediately. They had been making “a legitimate protest – this is not a criminal offense.” Pussy Riot specializes in sudden, often illegal public performances, including one in Moscow’s Red Square.

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